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Cuzco

Inca Empire Capital

sunny 23 °C

With the Amazon behind us, we set off for Cuzco. It was only a short flight but a rather scary one towards the end when the pilot sharply tilted in one direction then the other while diving quite steeply. Never the less we made it.
Cuzco means Navel, as it is the capital of the Inca empire. We were all rather releived that it was much colder in Cuzco after the suffocating heat of the Amazon.
Shortly after arrival we embarked on a city tour showing us such highlights as Churches and the Inca wall f Q´Oricancha. The Inca people were amazing how the constructed these huge places out of granite or lime stone, moving the stone from at times hundreds of miles away. Then putting it all together with no morter and there it still stands about 500 years later. In the 1950´s Cuzco was hit by a rather large earthquake that pretty much destroyed the entire town, all the coloniel builings were destroyed and thousands dies, yet the inca buildings remained standing. Unfortunately in alot of places the Spanish took every opertunity to build a church over any inca sites therefore covering alot of them.
That night after much site seeing we went to dinner and me and Ryan tried Alpaca. I felt a bit grot about it, the poor wooly little Alpaca, but just the same as sheep or lamb I suppose. Anyway it was quite nice, pretty salty though. We have since eaten it once more.

The next day we went to Saqsaywaman (pronounced sexy woman). This is another ancient Inca site, the name means Satisfied Falcon. It was named this after the Inca and Spanish fought leaving there dead warriors and soldiers to fight elsewhere, as you can imagine there were some satisfied falcons after they feed from the bodies of the dead. Please excuse any bad spelling, I am typing fast to try to catch up on the last week.
We headed off to Sacred Valley and on the way stopped at Puka Pukara an Incan watch tower. This is a place that Incan messangers would stop to change runners, who would then continue to run over the Inca trail to deliver a message. It´s a long way and they were obviously really strong runners as it didn´t take them long at all. Due to the Altitude people around here carry more oxygen in there blood therefore have more staminer than ourselves. We were struggling at 3360mtrs above sea level, when we get to Bolivia it will be even higher.
Anyway we carried on to Pisaq some markets where Ryan got ripped off with his not so flash bargaining skills. Then it was on to Ollantaytambo, Incan ruins that for some unknowen reason where never completed. They were amazing so self sufficient, running water, terraces for crops, homes all purched on the side of a very step mountain. We also saw Aussangate the highest mountain at 6384 mtrs. That night me and Ryan went out to tea and wanted something really cheap. We found a local place where we had individual sized pizzas and then on the walk home got somesort of caramel pastry from a bakery, all up dinner cost $8 soles which is about $5 NZ for the both of us, sweet deal.

Posted by Ryan-Holly 11:56 Archived in Peru Tagged backpacking

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